What exactly is the evil David Robert Jones up to on ‘Fringe’ this season? Friday’s episode may finally give us some insight into his plans.
In ‘The Consultant’, three people in the main universe are mysteriously flung up into the air and smashed back down to the ground with fatal injuries consistent with far higher velocity and impact force. At the same moment, their alternates in the other universe all die in a plane crash. Walter theorizes that these people were somehow linked across universes, such that what happens to one version also happens to the other. He believes that David Robert Jones is somehow behind this, which would mean that Jones has created a technology beyond anything Walter himself had ever conceived. The normally-reclusive Walter agrees to cross over to the alternate universe to investigate further.
Fun details we learn about the alternate universe in this episode include: Airplanes don’t have black boxes, but are recorded by satellite instead; badgers are common domesticated pets; and Sherlock Holmes is not a known literary character.
Walter’s suspicions are confirmed after a taxi crash in the main universe causes a woman in the alternate universe to drown on dry land. Peter finds a device in the cab left behind by Jones’ accomplice, a man who kind of looks like a younger version of Jones. Is he perhaps a son or a clone?
It turns out that my assumption about alternate-Broyles being a shapeshifter was incorrect. He is who he says he is. However, Jones has blackmailed him into cooperating by providing a cure for his son’s disease that Broyles can’t otherwise get. Essentially, Broyles has been put in the same position that Walter was many years before – he has to decide between saving his son or protecting his world. Jones gives him a new device that will sabotage the doomsday machine in the bridge between universes. Ultimately, Broyles turns himself in and gives the device to his opposite self. (I suppose this means that his son will die.) Broyles is locked up in the same prison as Nina Sharp.
Walter examines the device and determines that Jones planned to use it to collapse and totally destroy both universes. If that’s truly his end-game, we still have no idea why he would want to do such a thing.
In addition to moving the season’s main storyline forward, the episode also has some nice characters moments between Walter and Fauxlivia. The latter is taking the death of her partner Lincoln very badly. Walter, who’d slowly started to warm up to her the last time they worked together, now seems to be fully sympathetic to her.
I have to say, I like Fauxlivia a lot better than the original Olivia. She’s a more interesting and more fun character, and Anna Torv plays the role with a completely different physicality that I enjoy. I just love the way she struts with purpose when she walks. Must be those army boots she wears.